Saturday, January 31, 2009

Throat Candy - Honey Lemon

Purchase Location : NEWSDAYS
Purchased Price : 100 Yen
Kcal : 15.1 (one piece)
Maker : KANRO

Well, I thought I was going to be lucky this year, but I was wrong. I ended up getting a cold. I felt it coming on yesterday and it was full-blown today. I’m just hoping it isn’t the flu.

When my throat gets dry or sore my favorite candy is the one pictured above.

The name of this candy is “Hachimitsu Remon C Nodo Ame.” In English it would translate as “Honey Lemon C Throat Candy.”

There are a wide variety of noda ame candies in Japan. This particular one is my personal favorite. It sweetness isn’t overwhelming. If your throat really hurts lozenges that are too sweet get old quickly.

It is sometime hard to find this particular nodo ame. I have only seen it at 7-11 and NEWSDAYS convenience stores.

Friday, January 30, 2009


Purchase Location : Suriiefu (Three F)
Purchased Price : 118 Yen
Kcal : 186
Maker : Meiji

Oh yeah, Choco Baby! 

Basically Choco Baby candy is just little pellets of chocolate. They are slightly hard because they seem to have some type of waxy coating on them.

Choco Baby is very popular in Japan and can be found at a lot of locations. The container this candy comes in makes it convenient to carry around with you and eat a few at a time.

If you are a chocolate lover you will most likely enjoy these. The taste is rather strong. May be it is the small shape of these chocolate pellets that makes them so tasty.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Drinkable Yogurt

Purchase Location : Suriiefu (Three F)
Purchased Price : 110 Yen
Kcal : 112 (240ml)
Maker : MEIJI

The name of this drink in Romaji is “Burugaria Nomu Youguruto .” The flavor is “Blueberry Mix.”

I’m a diehard Diet Coke fan who doesn’t drink much else. Yes, I know Cola is not the most healthy drink in the world. My friends who drink beer like a fish love to tell me how bad cola is all the time.

Every once in a while I get the urge to drink something other than cola, and this drink is one of my favorites. It has a surprisingly thin taste. It is slightly sweet, but not overbearing.

This drinkable yogurt is a great drink to smooth your stomach after eating too many snacks!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Men's Pocky

Purchase Location : Sankus
Price : 150 Yen
Kcal : 155 (per pack)
Maker : Glico

Men’s Pocky? Is it just me, or would this name be okay in other countries?

As far as I have heard and seen, Pocky is quite famous in many other countries.

According to the Wikipedia page, Pocky was first introduced in Japan in 1966. Many varieties of Pocky are sold in almost every supermarket and convenience store here in Japan. I would even say it has legendary status as far as snacks go.

Pocky Men’s is not as sweet as other flavors. As the box says, it’s “Bitter Chocolate.” I guess men like it that way? Personally I prefer the coconut flavor. I guess I’m not much of a man. 

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Star Trek Fleet Collection 01

Purchase Location : Yodobashi Camera
Price : 370 Yen
Scale : 1/5000
Maker : F-Toys

When I was milling around the other day in my favorite store Yodobashi Camera I came across this collector’s set of Star Trek ships.

There are six different ships in this collection of pre-made plastic models. When you buy one of these boxes you are taking a chance on what Star Trek ship you will be getting. Even if you buy several boxes they might all have the same ship in them.

The six different ships in this collection are as follows:

01  [1/5000]  U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701-D         

02  [1/2500]  Enterprise NX-01                               

03  [1/2500]  U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701               

04  [1/2500]  U.S.S. Defiant NX-74205                      

05  [1/2500]  U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701 (Refit)   

06  “Secret Item”

As you can see, In this box was the U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701-D. I’m not disappointed, but I was really hoping that it would be the U.S.S. Defiant. Deep Space 9 was my favorite out of all the Star Trek series. 

The quality of this model is quite surprising at such a reasonable price. I guess I will just have to play the “plastic model lottery” in an attempt to get all the ships in this collection!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Ume Candy - Muji

Purchase Location : FamilyMart
Price : 95 Yen
Kcal : 91
Maker : Muji

Ume is a variety of plum, but is often called a Japanese apricot. It is used to make umeboshi, an extremely popular type of pickled food here in Japan.

The candy shown above is just one type of the many ume products sold as snacks. 

This particular ume candy is actually “honey neri-ume.” It is sweet, but tartish and very chewy. 

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Wasabi Ochazuke

Purchase Location : Lawson Store 100
Price : 105 Yen
Kcal : 12 (per packet)
Maker : Nagatanien

Ochazuke is a very Japanese dish. In the most basic form, ochazuke is just hot tea poured over rice. It is more common though to included other topping items such as seaweed, salmon flakes, ume, etc.  

I usually eat ochazuke for breakfast, however I was informed that it isn’t necessarily a breakfast dish. It can be eaten at any meal, and many times at the end of the meal. Also, it is not uncommon to eat ochazuke when you have a bad cold, or even after a drinking party.

My personal favorite ochazuke flavor is the one above, wasabi. The spiciness of the wasabi gives it a little bit of a kick. The brand of wasabi ochazuke pictured above is a little hard to find. It’s good to know the local 100 yen shop carries it.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Sequoia Candy Bar

Purchase Location : Lawson Store 100
Price : 105 Yen
Kcal : 127 (one bar)
Maker : Furuta

Sequoia candy bars come in several flavors. The one pictured above is strawberry chocolate. They are considered to be in the dagashi (cheap sweets) category of candy. These candy bars are usually sold individually and are priced around thirty-five yen apiece. 

This strawberry version has a strawberry cream, milk cream and wafer center.

One interesting note about these famous candy bars is that they are popular with students taking entrance examinations. The reason being is that the Japanese pronunciation of these candy bars is sekoiya. This resembles the word seikou, which means success. By eating these candy bars I guess the students hope to pass their test. Personally, by eating these candy bars I haven’t had too much success on my diet recently.

Friday, January 23, 2009

SOYJOY - Cacao & Orange

Purchase Location : ampm
Price : 115 Yen
Kcal : 133

After eating the 324 calorie mochi donut I posted about yesterday, I thought it might be a good idea to pick something a little more healthy for today.

SOYJOY energy bars have become quite popular here in Japan lately. I have even seen dedicated vending machines for these healthy bars. 

When I was looking up some information for this posting I noticed that these energy bars are sold in other countries too. It appears SOYJOY bars were originally produced here in Japan by Otsuka Pharmaceutical Company.

The bar above is Cacao & Orange flavor. Many other flavors can be found here in Japan.  At 133 calories a bar they are rather healthy, and actually quite tasty too!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Mochi Ring Donut

Purchase Location : ampm
Price : 120 Yen
Kcal : 324

Recently many stores around the the Tokyo area carry some type of mochi donut. Out of all of them, this one sold under the brand name Bakery avenue at am/pm convenience stores, is my favorite. The special ingredient that makes these donuts so tasty is of course, mochi.

Mochi is often called “Japanese rice cake.” It is made from glutinous rice that is pounded into a paste and then molded into blocks, or other shapes varying in different levels of consistency. 

The mochi added gives these donuts a great chewy taste and balances the sweetness of the chocolate. 

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Manga Heroes

Purchase Location : MINISTOP
Price : 210 Yen
Maker : ZACCA

It is common for convenience stores in Japan to carry toys. Many of these toys are not only for children, such as this character from a spin-off series of the famous Japanese manga and animation series called Tensai Bakabon. This Animation is so famous that there is even a English Wikipedia page about it (link here).

This plastic figure’s name is Atarou. It is one of a set. The name of this set is Manga Heroes. There appears to be twenty-four different characters, plus a special one, in this collection.

Even though I am not a big collector of plastic figures I was really hoping to get one the characters from Tensai Bakabon called Unagi-Inu (“Eel Dog” in English).

To see more of the character figurines of Tensai Bakabon (and the spin-off series) available from this toy maker take a look at this link.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Cheeza Crackers

Purchase Location : MINISTOP
Price : 190 Yen
Kcal : 194

Cheeza crackers are produced by Glico food company and can be found at many convenience stores and supermarkets in the Tokyo area.

They come in two flavors, cheddar and Camembert cheese. The cheddar version, with fifty-two percent real cheese, is hands down my favorite snack in Japan. 

As far as the taste goes, they have a very strong cheese taste and they are extremely crunchy.

At 190 yen for a small bag, these crackers are quite pricey. Even at this steep price there seems to be many fans of these cheesy treats. There is even a blog dedicated to them which can be found at this link.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Two Year Plus Hiatus

Looking back, it would have been better if I had deleted or suspended this blog rather than letting it stay on the internet without any updates for such a long period. For this I apologize. In my opinion it is bad manners to leave a dead blog floating around where people surfing run into it and are left disappointed.

I wasn’t updating this blog for several reasons. I really didn’t have the time and I really didn’t have much to blog about. Better yet, I was thinking about what type of blog I really wanted to make. With that in mind I have decided to salvage this blog.

After long consideration I have decided to make this blog’s future content more in line with it’s title, “Stuff In Japan.”

After my ten plus years in Japan I still find myself interested in the unique “stuff” that can be found here. When speaking of this “stuff” I’m mainly thinking about consumer products, whether it is some food product or a plastic model sold at a connivence store.

There are so many wondrous products in Japan. Even after the thousand plus times I have made a trip to the local supermarket I still find myself saying, “What’s that?” when looking at the products on the shelf. Cooking ingredients are especially confusing to non-Japanese as myself. 

I hope my future postings may help some readers to understand about the wide variety of products here in Japan or just to satisfy the curiosity of others.

With that wordy explanation I will once again make an effort to make this blog interesting and useful to someone.